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Fort Arabesque Resort is located on the northern shore of Makadi Bay, near Hurghada. Its coral reef, very healthy in some places, offers beautiful snorkeling sessions. By exploring the “mini reefs” facing the beach, you will come across a myriad of colorful fish and invertebrates, in a shimmering underwater landscape.
A couple of regal angelfish in Fort Arabesque
A couple of regal angelfish at Fort Arabesque’s reef.

How to get to Fort Arabesque snorkeling spot?

This spot is the house reef of the Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas, one of the large resorts bordering Makadi Bay. This seaside resort is located about 40km south of the city of Hurghada and 30km south of the airport.

To access this spot, the easiest way is to stay at the Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas, but it seems possible for guests from adjacent hotels to walk freely along the beaches to get to the spot.

Fort Arabesque Resort snorkeling map, Makadi Bay

Water entrance for snorkeling Fort Arabesque reef

Water entrance is from the resort beach. The entry points are marked by buoys, indicating the gaps in the reef flat which allow snorkelers to reach the outer reef without damaging the coral. Beach staff is strict about enforcing the use of those entry points rather than trying to pick one’s way across the flat.

Fort Arabesque reef snorkeling exploration tips

Starting from the shore, you will first cross the shallow reef flat that fringes the beach. Over forty meters, the bottoms are not spectacular, but you can see many small fish at very shallow depths (↕1-3ft/0.5-1m).

You then come to a deeper area, which is the best snorkeling location. Here, dozens of “mini reefs” are scattered on the sandy bottom. Reef tops are in two feet (50cm) or so of water, each ‘mini-reef’ dropping off to between 6-20 feet (2-7m).

Coral reef in Fort Arabesque
A wide diversity of reef fish gathers around Fort Arabesque coral patches.

The best-preserved reefs are covered with magnificent corals in pink, yellow or bluish tones. Close in, the coral is inevitably affected by the to and fro of people, but a little further out it is in remarkably good health – a testament to the efforts of the hotel to educate people on how to respect the reefs.

Reefs are like an I-spy book of Red Sea fishes – with a large variety and fairly used to snorkelers. The butterflies are in particular very inquisitive. Amongst the most common fish species at reef are the sulphur damselfish, the regal angelfish, the bluecheek butterflyfish, the Red Sea bannerfish, and parrotfish of several species.

Red sea bannerfish at Fort Arabesque reef

By exploring the “mini reefs”, you may also have the chance to surprise a moray eel, an octopus, a lionfish, or a ray. In total, more than a hundred more or less common reef fish species live in Fort Arabesque.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

This spot is the house reef of the Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas, which offers different types of accommodation and several restaurants and bars.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth20ft/7m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsStay at Fort Arabesque Resort

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.